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TBT: Before knitting…


Before knitting — or, rather, I should say "between" — I did a lot of cross-stitch embroidery! I ran across these projects the other day. The stitching is finished but they've never been framed or "finished" in a way that allows them to be used or enjoyed.


My first "hobby retreat" was in early December 1992: "Christmas In Williamsburg," sponsored by Just CrossStitch Magazine. The main event was "The Dorcas Haynes Christmas Sampler," a reproduction sampler designed and taught by Darlene O'Steen. It was the first time I'd flown by myself in years, rented a car, drove from Norfolk to Williamsburg… I arrived a day early and remember going to see "A River Runs Through It" that night. It was a lovely retreat.


I liked kitchen-y designs such as this fruit piece; I also stitched a fun "herb" design for my sister Ann. (And a quilt design for Sharon, a Santa for Karen, duck stamps for my brother-in-law, commemorative wedding and birth pieces, Christmas stockings, ornaments… so much stitching!)


Sometimes a little whimsy! I love this goofy angel, and I left this piece out the other day with the intention of finishing it… very soon. A small bolster pillow? A hanging? I'm not sure yet…


I don't recall the story behind these pieces. I'm certain that they were for my mom… but there's already a finished/framed trillium exactly like this one hanging in her dinette. They match designs that were etched into the glass transom windows in that room.

Ha. Obviously, I was as much a process stitcher as I am a process knitter!

I haven't stitched in years, or looked at new designs. It was quilting designs that first caught my eye and interested me in stitching — I have no idea what's "new," if anything. I still love samplers to death. If I ever take it up again, though, I'm going to need a magnifier lamp!

13 thoughts on “TBT: Before knitting…

  1. What a coincidence! I was an avid cross-stitcher in the 90s but babies, work and house chores came along and took my time. I had a desire to learn to knit and did so in 2005 and cross-stitch fell to the side but I’ve had nagging feelings about some unfinished projects. I found myself with some more free time this winter and dug out some old projects. I decided in February that 1. I really need my cheater glasses to do these anymore (I always liked the really, really small crosses and that’s come back to bite me on the backside now!) and 2. the light in Pennsylvania in February just wasn’t cutting it. I have ideas of working some more on it this summer outside in the bright light!
    I have no idea what’s new anymore in cross-stitch but it’s a nice change of pace from knitting although I don’t see myself becoming as engrossed now as I was way back. And my daughter always had THE BEST floss selection when she was in her pre-teen knotted bracelet phase!
    Your pieces are lovely! Definitely should be displayed in some manner; too nice to be hidden away.

  2. I agree with Michelle; these are far too nice not to be displayed in some way. Thanks for a lovely peek into your multi-craftual closet!

  3. Oh the stitching that’s stuck in the closet at my house. I spent years stitching samplers and little “nothings” (etuis) and I loved it so. I traveled extensively to study needlework and loved learning about school girl samplers and the various techniques of the craft. While knitting was a constant throughout, it was when I found blogging that I stopped stitching, because I knew I’d found my people.

  4. I have done a lot of cross stitching over the years as well. Your work is really lovely: I especially love the flowers. 🙂

  5. Lovely work. I haven’t done counted cross-stitch in eons. But I haven’t quite gotten rid of all the things that go with it, either. My biggest works were a series of fruit crate labels, rather old fashioned, but just right for a kitchen.

  6. you do beautiful work in all your crafts! I hope you find a way to display these pieces – they need to be seen and appreciated!

  7. I did a lot of cross stitching back in the day, too. Your pieces are beautiful! I have some framed things hanging around the house and I have several pieces that I finished but never framed because it was cost prohibitive for me back then. I turned to knitting because it’s more portable and more conducive to social situations.

  8. I did a fair amount of cross stitch before I started knitting, too … went from there to quilting to knitting. I couldn’t do it any more, I don’t think … my eyes are just not sharp enough.

  9. Your work is gorgeous! I did many similar ones from those days, but mostly in needlepoint. Like yours, I had the same kitchen-y and sampler themes. And, like yours, mine are completed except for the framing or other finishing touches. Then there is my stash of unopened needlepoint and x-stitch kits, carefully purchased with 40% off coupons and the best of intentions. Oh my!

  10. Like several of your other commenters, I used to do counted cross-stitch, too. One of my goals was to make a framed hanging of each of my favorite birds here at the lake. I got as far as the loon, currently hanging in our bedroom. Knitting is more enjoyable.

  11. I’ve never stitched…my people did not stitch 🙂 that fruit piece may go missing if I come to your house 🙂 beautiful work!

  12. Such beautiful cross stitch! Add me to the list of xs fanatics..before knitting took over! I bought a magnified light..but still those crosses have shrunk in size since I’ve aged!

  13. I did a lot of cross stitching years ago and have a small collection of work that was never framed. I’ve framed only two pieces in my life: A large piece for my dad and a little Mary Engelbreit design I was working on when my mom died.

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